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Afef Abrougui

I am an editor and researcher covering human rights in the Arab region, with a focus on free speech and privacy rights. I hold a media studies MA from the University of Amsterdam, where I wrote my thesis on the implications of social media platforms’ content removal policies in compliance with local laws.

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Latest posts by Afef Abrougui

7 February 2017

‘Why Are We Still Doing This?': Iraq Shuts Down Internet to Prevent Exam Cheating—Again

Global Voices Advocacy

Internet outages to prevent exam cheating have now become common in Iraq.

3 February 2017

After Waiting More Than a Year, Jordanian Journalist Appears Before UAE Court

Global Voices Advocacy

Journalist Tayseer Al-Najjar is on trial in the UAE over 2014 Facebook posts deemed offensive to the Emirati state.

31 January 2017

Algerian Blogger Merzoug Touati Could Face 25 Years in Jail for Interviewing an Israeli Official on YouTube

Global Voices Advocacy

The interview focuses on Algerian government accusations that foreign powers stoked protests against austerity measures in the country. Blogger Merzoug Touati is charged with "exchanging intelligence with a foreign power."

28 January 2017

Originally Sentenced to Death, a Blogger Goes Before Mauritania's Supreme Court

Global Voices Advocacy

In 2014, Ould Mkhaitir was arrested and convicted of "apostasy" over an opinion article in which he addressed Mauritania's discriminatory caste system.

20 January 2017

Health of Detained UAE Academic Nasser Bin Ghaith at Risk, Rights Groups Say

Global Voices Advocacy

Bin Ghaith was held incommunicado for nine months over and deprived of adequate food and clothing. Supporters are now concerned for his health.

19 January 2017

Bahrain Intensifies Media Crackdown Ahead of Protest Anniversary

Global Voices Advocacy

On 16 January, the government banned the online edition of the country’s only independent newspaper al-Wasat, from "using electronic media tools".

23 December 2016

Former Kuwaiti Lawmaker Sentenced to 42 Years in Jail for Tweets, ‘Insulting Saudi Arabia’

Global Voices Advocacy

Dashti is a critic of Saudi Arabia, in particular its war in Yemen. He is also known for his controversial support of the regime of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad

22 December 2016

Assaults on Rights Activists Harm Civil Society — And Saudi Arabia's Progress

Global Voices Advocacy

Saudi Arabia's ongoing crackdown on peaceful activism is depriving activists of their freedom and basic rights -- and it's costing the kingdom the work and creativity of its brightest reformists.

13 December 2016

The High Cost of Algeria's Crackdown on Speech: Life and Freedom

Global Voices Advocacy

Will the Algerian government acknowledge the high cost of silencing its critics before more lives are lost or destroyed for a mere Facebook post?

12 December 2016

Military Trials of Journalists Cast Light on the Taboo of Criticizing the Army in Tunisia

Global Voices Advocacy

Laws allowing military courts to handle cases involving citizens, including journalists and bloggers, continue to hold back Tunisia's democratic reforms.

7 December 2016

Sudanese Government Targets Activists, Stifles Media Coverage of Civil Disobedience

Global Voices Advocacy

The civil disobedience action began on 27 November after the government removed subsidies on electricity, fuel and medicine.

16 November 2016

Omani Film Critic Sentenced to Jail Over Facebook Posts

Global Voices Advocacy

"As long as there is a human being exploiting a human being, there are revolutionary dreams, and dreams make the future."

4 November 2016

Demystifying Social Media Censorship — in Arabic, Spanish and English

Global Voices Advocacy

Social media platforms have terms of use that restrict several types of content including nudity, hate speech, and violence. But these difficult-to-define rules are always subject to interpretation.

3 November 2016

In Oman, Independent Media Suspended Until Further Notice

Global Voices Advocacy

Albalad is the second independent media to stop publishing of its own accord this year. Another newspaper, Alzamn, was suspended by the government last August.

26 October 2016

Morocco Unblocks VoIP Applications Ahead of UN Climate Conference

Global Voices Advocacy

"To avoid being seen as a police state during the #COP22, Morocco temporarily unblocks VoIP services," tweeted one user.

9 October 2016

WhatsApp Reportedly Blocked in Yemen, Mobile Operator Cites ‘Technical Issues’

Global Voices Advocacy

Censorship of online content has surged in Yemen since the beginning of the conflict opposing Houthi rebels and forces loyal to president Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi.

7 October 2016

Tunisian Teen Risks Suspension for Denouncing Poor School Conditions on Facebook

Global Voices Advocacy

The school administration has accused Hamza Batti of engaging in a "smear campaign" against it.

29 September 2016

Kuwait Detains Activist Sara Al-Drees for Insulting the Country's Ruler

Global Voices Advocacy

The pro-democracy activist has previously served jail time for the same charge.

26 September 2016

Jordanian Authorities Impose Media Gag After Writer's Killing

Global Voices Advocacy

Jordanian authorities have banned media coverage of the assassination of Nahed Hattar, a writer who was shot dead on September 25 by a gunman in the capital Amman.

24 September 2016

Sudanese Authorities Use ‘Pornography’ as Evidence in Criminal Trial of Human Rights Advocates

Global Voices Advocacy

Sudanese authorities are using what they deem as "pornographic" and "immoral" evidence in a trial of ten civil society activists, six of whom are facing capital punishment charges.

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